Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Most Dangerous Runaway Of All

Let’s watch out for the words that come out from our mouth…

it really is dangerous if we didn’t think before we say a word…

 

“The Most Dangerous Runaway Of All”

 

Read Proverbs 12:18

 

A runaway train. That’s how they billed the upcoming story on

the evening news. Believe me, I stayed tuned! And they weren’t

exaggerating. Somehow a freight train in Ohio started rolling down

the tracks with no one on board. And it kept rolling -- for many miles

across the Ohio countryside, sometimes at speeds of nearly 60 MPH.

It was pretty amazing to see footage of a railroad intersection, lights

blinking, gates down, cars stopped - and here is a train just rolling

through without anyone at the controls. Now, using a combination

of ingenuity and heroism, really, they finally managed to get a

couple of men aboard who were able to stop it. That’s a very good thing!

 

A runaway train can do a lot of damage. But it’s not the most

dangerous runaway of all. No, that would be a runaway mouth…

which way too many of us have way too much of the time.

 

Listen to what our word for today from the Word of God has to say

about it in Proverbs 12:18. “Reckless words pierce like a sword,

but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Most of our words

have either a healing effect or a hurting effect. Tragically, we just let

too many reckless words come pouring out -- critical words, negative

words, accusations, frustrations, complaints, put-downs, sarcasm.

Usually we don’t have malicious intent, but still our runaway words

leave wounds and walls that we may not even realize. Often we will

say something that we’ve forgotten by bedtime, but the person

who heard it may remember it for years to come.

 

That’s why God tells us in Ecclesiastes 5, “Do not be quick with

your mouth ... Do not let your mouth lead you into sin.”

(Ecclesiastes 5:2, 6) If you have a tendency to be “quick with your

mouth,” the odds are your mouth is doing way too much sinning.

For a lot of us, if we think it, we say it -- without considering the

damage it may do -- to someone’s reputation, to someone’s worth,

to a relationship, to unity, to our Lord’s reputation.

 

I really don’t think some of us understand the weight of our words.

We don’t realize how deep our words go… how much people remember

what we say… how much we’re quoted to others… how much we’re

affecting other people’s attitudes. For us, we’re just unloading our

feelings or our opinion, then moving on. But our words leave a trail,

and often, it’s like they said of the forced march of Native tribes

years ago, a “trail of tears.”

 

Which is why a man like David prayed a prayer like he prayed

in Psalm 141:3. Remember, David was a “man after God’s own

heart” who really wanted to be God’s man. And recognizing the

power of his words, he said, “Set a guard over my mouth,

O Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” That’s a prayer

some of us may need to pray every day, to post on a wall or a

mirror somewhere… to commit to memory for frequent recall.

“Lord, please help me to think about what I’m saying before I say it…

help me guard what I let come out of my mouth… help me hear

what I sound like to other people -- and to measure what I say.”

 

Yes, a runaway train is a scary thought -- there’s no telling

who it may hurt or injure. But a runaway mouth is even scarier,

and a lot more common. So much damage done that could be

avoided -- if we’ll just keep that train in our mouth from running off

on its own.

 

 

With Best Regards,

P. Vidal

 

 

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